RNC's Nasty Talk: Mailer Directs Donors to Sex Line

The mailer was pulled when RNC's number was switched for a sex hotline.

April 1, 2010, 12:28 PM

April 1, 2010— -- The Republican National Committee inadvertently distributed fundraising mail earlier this month with a return number that leads to a phone-sex line offering to connect callers with "hot horny girls ... students, housewives, and working girls from all over the country."

"We love nasty talk as much as you do," a woman's voice says on the sex-line's audio recording.

The mail piece was produced by Burch Munford Direct, a direct-mail firm frequently used by the RNC, the committee's communications director, Doug Heye, said.

The firm "will not be used for the foreseeable future," he said.

The mix-up occurred when the direct-mail firm replaced the RNC's "202" area code with an "800" area code, Heye said.

The RNC is not disclosing how many of these mailers were sent to potential donors.

The 800 number directs callers to a second 800 number, which is the sex line offering to connect callers with women who will do "anything you want" for $2.99 per minute.

The latest RNC blunder came one day after a prominent social conservative leader told his organization's supporters not to give money to the RNC in the wake of news reports that the RNC paid almost $2,000 to cover the cost of a donor event at a risqué Los Angeles nightclub.

"I've hinted at this before, but now I am saying it -- don't give money to the RNC," Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, wrote in his "Washington Update" e-mail. "If you want to put money into the political process, and I encourage you to do so, give directly to candidates who you know reflect your values."

Perkins wrote in his e-mail that the nightclub incident was "another indication" that the RNC is "completely tone-deaf to the values and concerns of a large number of people from whom they seek financial support."

The Daily Caller, which first reported on RNC's spending, reported Tuesday that since Michael Steele became RNC's chairman, top GOP donors -- at least eight of them -- have stopped contributing to the RNC. The donors include Home Depot co-founder Bernard Marcus and real estate mogul Harlan Crow, according to the Daily Caller.

The controversial mailer, which was reported first by Politico's Jonathan Martin, can be viewed HERE.

Sex and Spending Spree: RNC Turns Off Some Donors

Not only has the RNC's reimbursement of a nearly $2,000 bill at a sex-themed nightclub raised questions, some are also questioning Steele's spending spree.

It's the sort of lavish spending that sounds as though it would have taken place in better economic times; $17,000 for private jet travel, $13,000 for limousines and car services and $9,000 for a trip to the Beverly Hills hotel.

Steele is keeping a low profile amid questions about his leadership after the controversial reports of the spending spree and the scandalous fundraiser.

So far, no major Republican leader is calling for Steele's resignation, fearing that it could generate even more turmoil that the party doesn't need right now.

But that's hardly put a dent in the public chatter as pundits and politicos question the RNC chairman's leadership.

The target of criticism is lavish spending by Steele. But the most controversial charge is Steele's approval of a nearly $2,000 fundraiser at Voyeur West Hollywood, a sex-themed nightclub in Los Angeles. The expenses were not racked up by Steele but by a staffer, in the name of entertaining young Republicans.

In the line of fire, Steele is moving fast to put the controversy behind him. He has fired Allison Meyers, the staffer who took a group of donors to Voyeur last January, and Steele maintains that he knew nothing of the outing.

The RNC said it would be reimbursed for the $1,946.25 bill that was racked up at the strip joint, which is modeled on the 1999 movie "Eyes Wide Shut" and features women acting out voyeuristic scenes in live art installations.

Insiders worry that the controversy is distracting from the Republican Party's primary goal, seizing majority control of Congress in November's mid-term elections.

"This is a really a bad distraction at a time when we have the Obama administration on the ropes and we are making great gains," said Ken Blackwell, vice chairman of the RNC's platform committee and former candidate for chairman. "Among the rank and file, we now have attention diverted to this fiscal irregularity and this controversy.

"At the end of the day, Chairman Steele knows that the buck stops at his desk, and so that's why it is incumbent upon him to take quick action to right the ship, to make sure that appropriate heads roll, to build confidence among our donor base," Blackwell said.

Some people say the party's lavish spending is excessive at a time when funding is hard to come by.

"People are giving their hard-earned money to a party to help elect candidates, that's the goal, not to chauffeur the chairman of the party around in limousines," Neil Patel, publisher of the Daily Caller, said.

The Republican Party insists that it needs to spend money to raise more cash. The RNC is not alone in its spending spree. The Democratic National Committee spent $45,000 on two hotels alone in February.

The RNC has about $10 million on hand right now, about the same as it had a year ago, despite raising $96 million last year.

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